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River River: A One Woman Play Explores Love, Loss and Lament

FILIPINO-AUSTRALIAN WRITER MERLINDA BOBIS PERFORMS HER ONE-WOMAN PLAY ADAPTED FROM HER NOVEL “FISH-HAIR WOMAN”

1374259_1391380807762689_1725242657_nOctober 25, 2013 6:30 PM

UBC Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

Estrella Capili, the Fish-Hair Woman, uses her twelve-metre hair to trawl corpses from the river in Iraya, a militarised village in the Philippines. It is 1987 and Total War is declared by the government to purge insurgency in the countryside. In Iraya, the river becomes the dumping ground of victims of summary executions. Each time a body is thrown into the river, the water changes flavour: from river sweetness to brine, then to lemon grass. Is this myth, a trick of memory?
This cross-genre play is storytelling, drama, poetry, ritual, and music: the traditional chanting style of the Bitabara family and the composition of Sarah de Jong. This music is based on the Pasyon, the chanting ritual of the The Passion of Christ.
Award-winning writer and performer Merlinda Bobis writes in three languages across multiple literary genres. She is originally from Bikol, Philippines, and teaches Creative Writing at University of Wollongong, Australia.

Organized with Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice UBC, Migrante BC, Canada Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights, Philippine Artists Network for Integrative Transformation

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